PLANNING FOR THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

WEATHER DURING THE FEAST

According to the National Weather Service statistics, during the dates for the feast the average low is around 50 and high is approximately 70. A more extreme low is 40 and a more extreme high is 80.

Since the fall rains are critical for the winter crops, it is traditionally considered a sign of God’s blessing if it rains during sukkot. Therefore, expect for it to rain and prepare accordingly.

I. Camping needs

A. Tent

1. Tents are often listed as “sleeps 2”, “sleeps 6”, etc. However, putting that many people in a tent normally will leave little room for anything else such as suitcases, mattresses, lights and getting dressed. If it rains you may spend additional time in the tent. Don’t forget that children will require at least twice as much space on rainy days as adults!

B. Tent seam sealer

1. When it comes to tents, you normally get what you pay for. If you go to a discount store and buy their lowest priced tent don’t be surprised when the rain begins and your bedding gets soaked. On the other hand, aerosol water repellant can go a long way toward keeping even an inexpensive tent from leaking. Be careful to purchase a spray that requires only one treatment. You should treat all of the seams liberally and give them time to dry before you put your new tent up for the first time. Don’t skimp on treating the floor seams. It is truly dismaying in the middle of the night to watch water ooze up through your floor and soak into your bedding.

C. Tarp

1. You will want to get a tarp that is somewhat bigger than the footprint of your tent. It will help protect the floor of your tent from water, gravel and debris on the ground. Harbor Freight will often put tarps on sale for very reasonable prices.

D. Ground padding

1. You will probably be camping on one of Paradise Lake Resort’s hundreds of leveled RV sites. These sites are graveled, which is great for RV’s but tough on tent floors and bare feet. Putting a layer of plywood, OSB or cardboard under your tent can save your tent floor from holes from rocks and sticks as well as protecting your knees and feet. Additionally, you will want to insulate your bedding from the cold ground. It is amazing how bare earth will suck heat from your body, even through a sleeping bag and air mattress. Putting a couple of layers of cardboard below your tent floor and on top of your tarp will make your tent MUCH more comfortable.

2. Be sure to fold the edges of the tarp over the ground padding and then under the edges of your tent. This should help keep some (but not all) water out from under your tent floor.

3. Let’s describe this once again for clarity. First, put a tarp on the ground. Then, place plywood, OSB or cardboard on top of the tarp as ground padding. Next, wrap the edges of the tarp as far as you can over the ground padding. Finally, set up your tent on top.

E. Lighting

1. If you are accustomed to night lights, porch lights and street lights, you may be surprised at how dark it can get when camping. Bring electric, battery, propane or gas lights (and fuel!) for inside and outside your tent. You’ll want at least one flashlight for each person for those nighttime nature calls.

2. Don’t forget to bring plenty of batteries!

F. Heater

1. A small electric heater won’t make your tent toasty but it will make it more comfortable if temperatures drop. Just be careful to keep it away from anything flammable.

G. Fan

1. You’ll want a fan if it gets too warm on some nights to sleep comfortably. If it’s cold, heat from your heater will rise to the top of your tent but the fan will circulate it and help keep you warmer.

H. Extension cords

1. Lights, heaters and fans will all need one or two heavy 20’ or longer extension cords, a couple of shorter ones and a power strip or two.

I. Folding chairs

J. Awning shelter

1. If you can bring one, you will not regret having a sheltered place to prepare meals and just hang out.

II. Sleeping

A. Bed

1. You will want something softer than your ground padding to sleep on. It’s up to you—foam rubber, air mattress, a cot, multiple sleeping bags—whatever you want. Warning: an air mattress meant for a pool may go flat on you, but good ones are truly a delight.

B. Bedding

1. It will probably be cooler at night than you are used to at home. Bring plenty of sleeping bags and/or blankets.

C. Pillow

1. Like air mattresses, inflatable pillows can go flat. On the other hand, why not just use the pillow from your bed at home?

D. Stocking cap

1. Believe it or not, a knit stocking cap really helps many people sleep better outside on cool fall nights. Who likes a cold head?

III. Cooking

At Sukkot KC you will be observing the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles which has been observed by God’s people for millennia. Many, if not most, of the people attending will be eating what Scripture calls “clean” foods. Eating “clean” in 21st century America involves abstaining from all pork and shell fish (and other things). See Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 for details.  Out of respect for the other attendees we ask that you do not bring any dishes containing “unclean” items to any community meals.

A. Table for food prep

1. Trust me; you don’t want to prep, cook, eat and clean up sitting on the ground!

B. Canopy shelter

1. Again; you don’t want to prep, cook, eat and clean up in the rain or under a tree that’s dropping leaves in your food. If you can manage it, bring a canopy.

C. Stove or grill to cook on

1. You can buy used Coleman grills on Craigslist or at garage sales. Even new ones are not all that expensive at Walmart. Cheap charcoal grills are everywhere but they take a long time to light and leave coals behind that can stay hot for a long time. Hot coals may pose a danger to the unwary. Whatever you use, don’t forget fuel!

2. A word of warning: the bottoms of some stoves and grills can give off a LOT of heat. This can melt or even set fire to the table or table cloth that they are sitting on.

D. Food

1. Keep in mind that preparing food while camping can be MUCH more difficult than at home. If you want to cook involved meals you might consider doing the prep at home. Otherwise, plan simple things.

E. Fire materials

1. If you’ve never started a fire outdoors, you might want to watch a couple of YouTube videos on the subject.

F. Cooking utensils

1. These include what you need to prepare, cook, eat and clean up.

2. Don’t forget a dishpan and dish washing liquid!

G. You’ll need a cooler to keep perishable food cold. The campground office sells bagged ice.

H. Consider bringing disposable plates, utensils and cups.

I. If you dislike drinking water from the faucet, bring a water filter

IV. Clothing

A. Plan to be outside all day and until late at night enjoying campfire fellowship.

1. You may need everything from warm-weather clothing such as tee shirts and shorts to sweatshirts, coats, stocking caps, etc.

2. One of the most important parts of celebrating sukkot is fellowship. It is traditional to sit up late around the fire, singing, making new friends, sharing testimonies and discussing Biblical and doctrinal topics (“midrashing”). It’s a lot more fun if you are dressed appropriately!

B. A laundry facility is available. You might find it advisable to bring your own detergent, etc. Also be sure to bring change for the machines.

V. Miscellaneous things you might want to bring

A. Bible and notebooks pens (!!!)

B. An offering

1. Deuteronomy 16 tells us not to come to the feasts “empty-handed”. Come prepared to give!

C. First aid kit

D. Chargers—phone, tablet, etc.

E. Clothes line to dry wet items

F. Rope for various purposes including hanging garbage bags from tree limbs to keep pests out of your food and trash.

G. Garbage bags for trash and for packing and storage

H. Musical instruments for campfire sing-alongs

I. Tinder, kindling and fire starting materials

J. Hatchet or axe to help start campfires

K. A hammer or mallet to drive tent stakes

L. Mosquito/bug sprays

1. If you walk into tall grass you might get ticks on you. Spray your legs first!

2. There may be quite a few mosquitoes because of above-average rains

3. If you go hiking, watch out for poison ivy!

VI. Overwhelmed?

A. You may have already given up because of the expenses involved. Guess what—God says that you can use tithe money to celebrate the feast! Read Deuteronomy 12 and 14 and see how God understood that going to Jerusalem for three feasts a year might be a burden to some. He therefore allowed people to use part of their tithe for expenses and to enable them to purchase luxuries they would not be able to afford otherwise. Feel free to use tithe money to defray your expenses!

B. Never been camping and lack confidence? YouTube might just be what you need. It can teach you everything from how to pick a tent, start a fire, keep warm, cook out, recipes—just about anything you could ever want to know!

C. You may be thinking that it is impossible to get all of the stuff you want to take into your little car. Quite often people with trucks or trailers will be more than happy to take items that won’t fit into your car. Also, since Paradise Lakes is so close, why not make more than one trip? Several families might join together and rent a U Haul truck to get all of the gear to the resort and then rent it again to get back. DON’T GIVE UP!! PRAY AND WATCH YOUR LORD MAKE A WAY!

D. Questions you just can’t find an answer to? Email us at info@sukkotkc.com. Include your phone number if you’d like to talk it out.